On Being Human

“Perhaps never before has it been so important for us to recognize that what we have before us is an opportunity: An opportunity to create a better world. And for us to do so, we need to answer the following questions: What kind of society do we wish to live in? What values do we want to pass along to our children? What kind of relationships do we wish to have with our fellow citizens of the world?” – John Morlino, Crisis as Opportunity: Reflections on the Events of September 11, 2001, Closing Plenary Address presented at the North American Vegetarian Society’s Annual Conference, 4 August 2002

John Morlino has spoken about achieving our fullest potential as human beings and as a society at numerous venues, including:

* North American Vegetarian Society annual convention
* Gandhian Conference on Nonviolence
* Washington, DC, Ethical Society
* Young Jains of America national conference
* North Carolina Society for Ethical Culture

Available presentations include:

Compassion Is a Journey, Not a Destination: This presentation builds upon four transformative moments in my life – moments when I thought I had finally “arrived” at a true understanding of compassion – to demonstrate how this concept continues to evolve and grow over the course of a lifetime.

Peace through Unconditional Compassion: We all want peace in the world, peace in our neighborhoods and peace in our hearts. To achieve these goals, we must expand our capacity to extend compassion and forgiveness unconditionally — even toward those who harm others. Drawing from real-life examples of people demonstrating compassion and forgiveness in the face of unspeakable tragedy, this session explores the practice of embracing the fullest principles of Ahimsa as a means of attaining genuine inner peace.

Schedule a presentation by clicking on the “send E-mail” link (above right). Please include your name and phone number in your message.


The Original 007 (Originally published in The Hartford Courant, December 9, 2012; Re-printed on Truthout.org, December 19, 2012)

“Hey, Freddie, did I ever show you my policeman’s ID?”

“No, Uncle Mike, I don’t believe you have,” I said, not wanting to deprive him of the joy of delivering the punch line to one of his favorite anecdotes.

“Here, look at the number,” he said, with a gleam in his eye, pointing to the corner of the identification card: “007.”

“Wow!” I said, both of us grinning broadly. “You were the original James Bond!” (Read more)


Philadelphia 76ers forward Andre Iguodala shoots the go-ahead free throw in Game 6 of the first-round playoff series against the Chicago Bulls. (Matt Slocum/AP)

Love and Basketball on Father’s Day (Christian Science Monitor, June 15, 2012)

One of my fondest memories from childhood is my dad showing me how to shoot free throws in our basement… Following my lesson, I’d conclude my time on the court the way most of us do when practicing alone on the playground. Sometimes the words are spoken aloud. More often, they’re recited in your head.

“Five, four, three, two, one…(insert own last name) shoots. It’s good! The (insert name of favorite professional team, which, for me, was – and still is – my dad’s favorite: the Philadelphia 76ers) win!”

Most of us, of course, will never actually experience having the ball in our hands in the final seconds of a high-stakes contest with the game, the season, and our athletic reputation on the line. Yet that’s precisely the situation 76ers forward Andre Iguodala found himself in during game six of this year’s first-round NBA playoff series against the Chicago Bulls. (Read more)


God’s Hand (Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11) (Truthout.org, September 15, 2011)

Her touch was gentler than anything I’d ever felt before – a tiny hand resting on my upper back. Standing in the middle of a tightly packed audience at Ohlone Park in Berkeley, California, made turning around something of a challenge. And while I was curious about who was responsible for that comforting gesture, I chose to remain still and not disrupt her. (Read more)


The Most Perfect Game: A Modern-Day Parable of Grace, Accountability and Forgiveness (Truthout.org, June 15, 2010)

There are three things of which I am certain about Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galarraga’s one-hit shutout of the Cleveland Indians earlier this month:

1) By getting every batter he faced “out,” he actually threw not only a no-hitter, but also a perfect game.

2) Baseball Commissioner Bug Selig has no intention of validating this feat by overruling umpire Jim Joyce’s incorrect call on what should have been the game’s final play.

3) I wouldn’t have it any other way. (Read more)


Compassion – Even for ‘Monsters’ (Christian Science Monitor, July 24, 2009)

He was convicted of kidnapping and killing a young girl. A second narrowly escaped after he sexually assaulted her. Earlier this month, and two years after he died in state prison, authorities in California concluded he was responsible for the abduction and murder of another child in 1988.

To many, he was known only as a “monster.” And while there is little doubt the late Curtis Dean Anderson committed some of the most heinous crimes known to man, he was also something else.

He was human. (Read more)


Schedule a Presentation
Schedule a presentation by clicking on the “send E-mail” link (above right). Please include your name and phone number in your message.